Lance Armstrong is a worldwide icon, indisputably one of the greatest cyclists who has ever lived. After battling cancer and becoming an inspiration to millions, Armstrong won the Tour de France a record-breaking seven consecutive years before retiring from competition in 2005.
Four years later, at thirty-seven, Armstrong decided to come out of retirement and go for the win yet again. He was racing for no salary, in a season when his greatest rival--Tour de France, Tour of Italy, and Tour of Spain champion Alberto Contador--was on his own team. The twenty-five-year-old Spaniard had been handpicked by Armstrong's own mentor, Johan Bruyneel, to be his successor. Now he would be his fiercest competition. Armstrong was about to suffer like never before--and, for the first time in recent memory, appear to be human on a bicycle.
After seven Tour victories--and beating cancer--did Lance Armstrong really need to prove anything? Beyond the thrill of another possible victory, what drove him to race again? What was he seeking--and would he find it?
Cycling insider Bill Strickland had unprecedented access to Armstrong, Johan Bruyneel, and the team. He takes readers behind the scenes during the 2009 racing season and along for the ride on the Tour de France with a dramatic mile-by-mile account. Offering a penetrating and candid glimpse into the man behind the myth, Tour de Lance goes beyond a single season or a single race to reveal the heart of the sport and the soul of the cyclist.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: Tour de Lance|
|Release Date: 06-15-2010|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Crown Publishing Group|
This eBook download is available in the following formats:
|Parent title||Tour de Lance|
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Tour de Lance
Individual Time Trial, 15.5 km, Monaco
July 4, 2009
Here he is, Lance Armstrong. And there he goes: a blue-and-yellow-and-white figure on a black-and-yellow bike streaking over the gray surface of a road in Monaco late on a summer morning, the sun's yellow pale in comparison to the shoulders of his jersey, the sky's blue like nothing more than the original idea for the magnificent tones that wrap around his back and legs. He is bent forward and low over the top of the bike, arcing himself butt to fingertips from the saddle to the handlebar like an airoilf, like a thing dreamed of and studied in prototypes and finally forged in perfection to round out the top profile of a bicycle in a way that makes it slippery against the forces of friction.
His feet each make a complete circle about 120 times a minute, or two revolutions a second, which is roughly the same cadence Usian Bolt maintains for 9.71 seconds to win a gold medal. Today, Armstrong will sustain this furious whirling of his feet for around 20 minutes. Some days he does it for six hours. This maelstrom occurs with a precision that if visible would surprise the untrained eye, and contains a daintiness that the sport's acolytes would find embarassing. At the lowest point of a stroke Armstrong's foot lies almost flat on the pedal. As his legs begin to pull up on the deal his foot starts to point down, and this oppositional change continues until his foot is almost vertical, a ballerina's pose that is imperceptible as it appears and vanishes in around one-eighth of a second. Then his foot comes over the tope of the pedal stroke. His heel drops, and the muscles of his leg begin pushing the pedal forward with visible force. ...